Sexual harassment is a serious criminal offense which can destroy human dignity and freedom. In an effort to promote the well being of all woman employees at the work place the following code of conduct has been prescribed :-
1.It shall be duty of the employer to prevent or deter the commission of any act of sexual harassment at the work place
2.Sexual harassment will include such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour by any person either individually or in association with other persons or by any person in authority whether directly or by implication such as :-
(i) Eve-teasing
(ii) Unsavoury remarks
(iii)Jokes causing or likely to cause awkwardness or embarrassment
(iv) Innuendos and taunts
(v) Gender based insults or sexist remarks
(vi) Unwelcome sexual overtone in any manner such as over telephone (obnoxious telephone calls) and the like
(vii) Touching or brusing against any part of the body and the like
(viii) Displaying pornographic or other offensive or derogatory pictures, cartoons, pamphlets or sayings.
(ix) Forcible physical touch or molestation
(x) Physical confinement against one's will and any other act likely to violate one privacy
and includes any act or conduct by a person in authority and belonging to one sex which denies or would deny equal opportunity in pursuit of career development or otherwise making the environment at the work place hostile or intimidating to person belonging to the other sex, only on the ground of sex.
• in accordance with the Supreme Court Judgement on " Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace in Vishaka & other Vs. State of Rajasthan & others (AIR 1997 SC 3011)
Explanation :- Where any comment, act or conduct is committed against any person and such person has a reasonable apprehension that,
1. It can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem, or
2. It is discriminatory, as for instance, when the woman has reasonable grounds to believe that her objection would disadvantage her in connection with her employment or study, including or promotion or advancement or when it creates a hostile environment, or
3. It would result in adverse consequences if she does not consent to the conduct or raises any objection, it shall be deemed to be sexual harassment.
3. Eve-Teasing :- Eve-teasing will include any person willfully and indecently exposing his person in such a manner as to be seen by other employees or use indecent language or behave indecently or in a disorderly manner in the work place. It will also include any word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman by making any sound or gesture or exhibit any object intending that such word or sound shall be heard or that such gesture or object shall be seen by such women or intrudes upon the privacy of a woman employee.

4. Sexual harassment of an employee means use of authority by any person in charge of the management or any person employed by it to exploit the sexuality or sexual identity of a subordinate employee to harass her in a manner which prevents or impairs the employee's full utilisation of employment benefits or opportunities . It also includes behaviour that covertly or overtly uses the power inherent in the status of the employer off' the head of the institution or management to affect negatively an employee's work experience or career opportunities and/or to threaten, coerce or intimidate an employee to accept sexual advances or making employment decision affecting the individual or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
5. It shall be the duty of the employer to prevent or deter the committing of any act of sexual harassment at the work place.
6. All employers should take appropriate steps to prevent sexual harassment of any nature, Express prohibition of sexual harassment should be notified at the work place and also published for the general information of the employees and evaluated in an appropriate manner periodically.
7. Appropriate working conditions should be provided in respect of work, leisure, health and hygiene to ensure that there is no hostile environment towards women at the work place and no woman employee should have reasonable grounds to believe that she is disadvantaged in connection with her employment in that organisation.
8. Women employees should not be treated as sex objects.
9. No male employee shall outrage or insult the modesty of a female employe at the work place.
10. No male employee shall make any type of sexual advances to woman colleagues or woman subordinates.
11. The head of the organisation shall constitute a Complaints Committee as specified in the Judgement of the Supreme Court, i.e., the Committee should be headed by a woman and not less than half of its members should be women. Further to prevent the possibility of any undue pressure or influence from senior levels such Complaints Committee should involve a third party either a non-government organisation or other body who is familiar with the issue of sexual harassment.
12. Conducting enquiry by the Complaints Committee :-

  • (i) Any person aggrieved shall prefer a complaint before the Complaints Committee at the earliest point of time and in any case within 15 days from the date of occurrence of the alleged incident.

  • (ii) The complaint shall contain all the material and relevant details concerning
    the alleged sexual harassment including the names of the contravener and the complaint shall be addressed to the Complaints Committee.

  • (iii ) If the complaint feels that she cannot disclose her identity for any particular reason the complainant shall address the complaint to the head of the organisation and hand over the same in person or in a sealed cover. Upon receipt of such complaint the head of the organisation shall retain the original complaint with himself and send to the Complains Committee a gist of the complaint containing all material and relevant details other than the name of the complaint and other details which might disclose the identity of the complainant.

13. The Complaints Committee shall take immediate necessary action to cause an enquiry to be made discreetly or hold an enquiry, if necessary.
14. The Complaints Committee shall after examination of the complaint submit its recommendations to the head of the organisation recommending the penalty to be imposed.

15. The head of the organisation, upon receipt of the report from the Complaints Committee shall after giving an opportunity of being heard to the person complained against submit the case with the Committee's recommendations to the management.

16. The Management of the Organisation shall confirm with or without modification the penalty recommended after duly following the prescribed procedure.

17. Disciplinary Action Where the conduct of an employee amounts to misconduct in employment as defined in the relevant service rules the employer should initiate appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the relevant rules.

18. Worker's initiative Employees should be allowed to raise issues of sexual harassment at workers meeting and in other appropriate fora and it should be affirmatively discussed in periodical employer-employee meetings.

19. Third Party harassment Where sexual harassment occurs as a result of an act or omission by any third party or outsider the employer and the persons incharge shall take all steps necessary and reasonable to assist the affected person in terms of support and preventive action.
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